Three Different Eye Diseases Diabetics Need to Watch Out For

People with diabetes are at a greater risk for eye disease.

High glucose levels can damage the blood vessels in the eye, which can lead to vision loss or blindness; many eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages, so regular eye exams are a must for diabetics.

There are many different eye diseases that can plague the diabetic; this article will focus on three particularly serious eye problems: cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

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Cataracts

Diabetics are 60% more likely to get cataracts, and often at a younger age than people without diabetes. Poor control of blood sugar speeds it up so tight control over your blood sugar and regular eye doctor visits are most important.

Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop within the eye lens, blocking light to the retina where images are processed and making it harder to see. They don’t cause symptoms like pain, redness or tearing. Some might even stay small enough to not affect your eyesight at all.

Large, thick cataracts are generally removed via surgery.

Glaucoma

People with diabetes are 40% more likely to get glaucoma, and the longer you have diabetes the greater your chances are. Glaucoma usually has no symptoms, but it can cause bright halos or colored rings around lights. Left untreated, it can cause an increase in eye pressure damaging the optic nerve. This can result in vision loss and blindness.

Glaucoma can be diagnosed by your ophthalmologist performing these five exams: tonometry (measuring the pressure in your eye), gonioscopy (inspecting your eye’s drainage angle), ophthalmoscopy (inspecting the optic nerve), a field vision test which tests your peripheral vision, and pachymetry, which measures the thickness of your cornea.

Treatment may include eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to blood vessels inside the retina caused by blood sugar buildup. During the early stages there is no pain and vision is not likely to change. Over time, the walls of your blood vessels may leak fluid, and blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of your eye. This can lead to severe vision loss and possibly even blindness.

Retinopathy is diagnosed during a thorough eye exam using a special dye to find leaking blood vessels.

Treatment in early stages is a laser surgery that seals the blood vessels and stops them from leaking and growing. It can’t restore lost vision, but combined with follow-up care, it can lower the chance of blindness by as much as 90%. Later stage treatment may consist of surgery to remove scar tissue, blood and cloudy fluid from inside the eye, improving vision.

As you can see from these three different eye diseases, keeping control of your blood sugar is most important if you wish to keep your eyesight. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

What You Need to Know During National Glaucoma Awareness Month

How much do you know about Glaucoma?

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Statistics say that not enough people know about it, let alone are aware they have developed it. According to www.glaucoma.org, “over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma” and “experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it.” If we are going to stop this “epidemic of blindness,” then spreading awareness is key. Here is what you need to know during National Glaucoma Awareness Month:

  1. Early detection is key. While you may not be able to reverse the effects of glaucoma, if you catch it early, progressive development of the disease can be stopped. That means, in order to prevent blindness, you have to catch it during one of your routine eye exams. These exams are vital to detecting glaucoma and creating a plan to prevent further vision loss. Contact Performance Eyecare today to schedule your exam.
  2. Do the research. There are two types of glaucoma: Open-Angle and Angle-Closure. Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common type as it is chronic, accounts for over 88% of glaucoma cases and is almost undetectable without comprehensive eye exams. Angle-Closure develops quickly and needs immediate attention as the symptoms are damaging and noticeable. Visit Glaucoma Research Foundation to learn more about the disease. The more you know about this disease, the more you can raise concern about it to those around.
  3. Talk about it. If you have glaucoma, don’t be embarrassed or keep it a secret. Use it as motivation to get your family, friends, and community to schedule their routine eye exam for early detection. Share your research about glaucoma and spread awareness about this preventable, but not reversible, disease.

Because glaucoma is so common, not only among the American population but around the world, it is amazing more people do not know about it. During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, be sure to schedule your eye exams and help those around you detect its presence before it is too late.

Scleral Contacts Available

Some of us have been told we can’t wear contact lenses because of an irregular cornea or other problems. If this is true for you or someone you know, you may want to get a second opinion and ask the eye doctors at Performance Eyecare about scleral contact lenses.

As described by Jason Jedlicka, OD of AllAboutVision.com, “scleral contacts are large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses specially designed to vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the “white” of the eye. In doing so, scleral lenses functionally replace the irregular cornea with a perfectly smooth optical surface to correct vision problems caused by keratoconus and other corneal irregularities.”

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This shape deflects lights as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina. This causes distorted vision.

Many optometrists and ophthalmologists recommend scleral contact lenses for a variety of hard-to-fit eyes, including eyes with keratoconus.

A standard GP lens may be used in early cases of keratoconus, but a large-diameter scleral contact lens may be needed if the lens doesn’t center properly on the eye or moves excessively with blinks and causes discomfort.

Scleral lenses are often more comfortable for a person with keratoconus because they are designed to vault the corneal surface and rest on the less sensitive surface of the sclera. These lenses are also designed to fit with little or no movement during blinks, making them more stable on the eye compared to traditional corneal gas permeable lenses.

How Performance Eyecare Can Help

At Performance Eyecare, our doctors guarantee that all our patients will be successful with their new contact lenses after their eye exam. We will refund all professional fees, contact lens charges, and pay the bill if another optometrist successfully fits them into contacts. It’s a guarantee you won’t find anywhere else!

Learn more about our contact lens service here.

Now Available: Online Appointment Scheduling

Time for an Eye Exam?

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Performance Eyecare now offers online appointment scheduling. Scheduling eye exams for yourself or your family has never been easier, or more convenient!

Your days are busy – we get that! Between work and family, it seems like you’re always on the go, and finding the time to call and schedule doctors’ appointments sometimes seems impossible. Or maybe you remember that you need to schedule an appointment, and it’s after hours. Now you can make an appointment with your eye doctor when it’s convenient for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To schedule your appointment online, visit our website. There you will find the heading “Schedule an Appointment” with links to each of our locations. Select your preferred location, and the link will take you to a page where you can select your preferred provider, the type of appointment you would like to make (routine eye exams or medical visits) and then the day and time that works best for you. You will need to enter your contact information, any symptoms or problems, and your insurance provider (if applicable). Click “Request Appointment” and you’re done! One of our receptionists will be in touch to confirm your appointment.

Performance Eyecare is a full-service eye care practice, serving the needs of adults and children requiring routine vision care, specialized medical eye care, and an optical boutique. Our friendly staff and caring doctors look forward to seeing you soon!

For more information please contact us. PS – Did you know you can order your contacts online now too?

Schedule an Eye Appointment at one of our multiple conveninent locations!

Keratoconus

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea of the eye gradually thins and begins to bulge outward and become cone-shaped. This leads to progressive vision impairment, including blurred vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. As keratoconus progresses, it can become difficult to read, drive, or perform other simple tasks. The condition affects an estimated 1 in 2,000 people. Most people with keratoconus are diagnosed in their teenage years or 20s. The condition often progresses for up to 20 years before finally stabilizing around middle age.

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Diagnosing Keratoconus:

One of the latest methods for diagnosing keratoconus involves corneal topography mapping. This test can be performed by our eye doctors. Corneal topography mapping measures the thickness of the cornea and creates a detailed map of the surface of the eye. This technology also makes it possible to categorize the severity of the disease.

Treatments for Keratoconus:

Early-stage keratoconus is typically treated with soft contacts or glasses. Frequent prescription altercations may be needed as the disease progresses. The contacts may also need to be switched from soft to rigid gas permeable to ensure adequate vision correction. Recent developments in contact lens technology have made the treatment of keratoconus a bit easier, specifically Scleral Contact Lenses. Scleral Contact Lenses cover the entire corneal service and rest on the sclera of the eye. Due to this larger form factor, they provide a more stable fit on the eye.

It is also important to note that advanced keratoconus may require surgical treatment. One surgical option involves inserting crescent-shaped rings into the cornea to correct its shape and improve vision. However, in cases where there is extensive corneal scarring and thinning, a corneal transplant (also known as a keratoplasty) may be required. This procedure replaces the damaged cornea with a cornea from a healthy donor.

At Performance Eyecare, we are committed to the early detection of different eye diseases. This is why we offer the latest in diagnostic technology including corneal topography and scleral contact lens fitting. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Floaters and Spots

Have you ever seen small specks or debris that looks like pieces of lint floating in your field of view? These are called “floaters,” and they are usually normal and harmless. They usually can be seen most easily when you look at a plain background, like a blank wall or blue sky.

Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous – the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye.

Floaters may look like specks, strands, webs or other shapes. Actually, what you are seeing are the shadows of floaters cast on the retina, the light-sensitive inner lining of the back of the eye.

Signs and symptoms of floaters and spots

With special exam lights, your eye doctor can detect floaters in your eyes even if you don’t notice them yourself.

If a spot or shadowy shape passes in front of your field of vision or to the side, you are seeing a floater. Because they are inside your eye and suspended within the gel-like vitreous, they move with your eyes when you try to see them.

What causes floaters and spots?

Some floaters are present since birth as part of the eye’s development, and others occur over time.

When people reach middle age, the gel-like vitreous begins to liquefy and contract. Some parts of the vitreous form clumps or strands inside the eye. The vitreous gel pulls away from the back wall of the eye, causing a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). PVD is a common cause of floaters.

Floaters are also more common among people who:

  • Are nearsighted.
  • Have undergone cataract surgery.
  • Have had laser surgery of the eye.
  • Have had inflammation inside the eye.

Treatment for floaters and spots

Most spots and floaters in the eye are harmless and merely annoying. Many will fade over time and become less bothersome. People sometimes are interested in surgery to remove floaters, but it is usually not necessary.

Flashes of light

You may see flashes of light. These flashes occur more often in older people, and are caused by mechanical stimulation of photoreceptors when the vitreous tugs on the light-sensitive retina. They may be a warning sign of a detached retina – a very serious problem that could lead to blindness if not treated quickly.

Some people experience flashes of light that appear as jagged lines or “heat waves” in both eyes, often lasting 10-20 minutes. These types of flashes are usually caused by a spasm of blood vessels in the brain, which is called a migraine. If a headache follows the flashes, it is called a migraine headache. However, jagged lines or “heat waves” can occur without a headache. In this case, the light flashes are called an ophthalmic migraine, or a migraine without a headache.

The sudden appearance of a significant number of floaters, especially if they are accompanied by flashes of light or other vision disturbances, could indicate a retinal detachment or other serious problem in the eye. If you suddenly see new floaters, visit your eye doctor immediately.